Horner: Past title experience irrelevant

Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner thinks that previous experience will count for little in the world championship showdown - with the current five-way contest marking uncharted territory for everybody

Horner: Past title experience irrelevant

Although his drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel are the only two of the five men gunning for the title who have not won it before, Horner reckons that his men are more than capable of holding their nerve until the end.

"Both of our guys have performed at their best under acute pressure, and I think both of them have got the character to deal with the situation," said Horner ahead of the Korean Grand Prix.

"I don't believe any of the drivers have been in this situation where it has been so tight between so many, so it is new for all of them ultimately. It is a matter of taking it one race at a time, because both of our guys are very well equipped to deal with the pressures that come at the end of a championship."

Although Vettel has shown better speed that Webber in recent races, Horner thinks there is little separating the performance of his two men.

"As we saw in Japan, they were separated by seven hundredths of a second in qualifying," he said. "And then there was nothing to choose between them in the race, so I expect it to be very close between the two of them. At Brazil, Mark won last year, and in Abu Dhabi Sebastian won. So I expect the two of them to be very close in pace to each other."

He added: "Nobody has a crystal ball, so it is impossible to predict what will happen in the next three races. We've said all the way along that we will treat both drivers equally which is what we have done our best to do - and that will continue to be the case until one mathematically is impossible to win.

"Both drivers have got a great opportunity, but neither can ignore Fernando or Jenson or Lewis, and ultimately it is the team that they rely on very heavily. As a team it is important that we maximise our performance. There is a healthy rivalry between the two of them, as you saw in Suzuka."

Horner also played down talk that Webber was going through a similar experience to Button last year - who kept extending his championship lead in the second half of the year despite not producing headline results under the pressure of being title leader.

"I think Mark has handled the pressure extremely well," said Horner. "With Jenson, we did not see on the podium [much] in the second half of the year, whereas Mark has been consistently running at the front. I think you cannot compare the two, to be honest with you.

"Jenson did all his performing in the first third of the year, and then chipped away and did a good job of maintaining a lead, but we did not really see him in the second half of the championship. Whereas this is to-ing and fro-ing between potentially five title protagonists."

Korea marks the first opportunity of the season for Red Bull Racing to clinch the constructors' championship - something Horner believes would be a fantastic feat for his team.

"Obviously it would be a huge achievement for Red Bull Racing, but at the moment, with 43 points available from each weekend, things can change very quickly," he said. "Our focus is very much on achieving the best result here we can, which means beating our peers in McLaren and Ferrari. Then the championships will take care of themselves."

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